Tovah Lazaroff
The Jerusalem Post
November 9, 2010 - 1:00am

The United Nations should not erase 4,000 years of historic Jewish connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb just to score a political point, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the organization's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when the two men met Monday evening in New York.

“The Jewish nation has had a deep connection to [these two sites] for close to 4,000 years,” Netanyahu told Ban, as he urged him to change a recent statement by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization which said that the two West Bank biblical sites were an integral part of “occupied” Palestine.

UNESCO also listed the sites first as Muslim mosques, Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi and Bilal Bin Rabath. It only spoke of them secondarily by their Jewish names.

“More than a billion people recognize this connection which is documented in the Bible,” Netanyahu said. Don’t “distort historical facts” for political gain, he told Ban.

“It will only harm the UN’s standing and the manner in which serious people treat it around the world,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier in the week, Israel said that it would not cooperate with UNESCO decisions and actions with regard to these sites.

Moving onto other topics Netanyahu told Ban of his intention to withdraw from the northern part of Ghajar village located on the Lebanese border in the Golan Heights.

Upon his return to Israel, he plans to ask the Security Cabinet to approve a withdrawal plan that is based on Israeli conversations with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.


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